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Former Missouri Chancellor blames lack of Border War renewal on Bill Self’s ‘big ego’

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There have been rumblings in recent weeks of an effort, at least on the part of Missouri, to reignite the Border War between Kansas and Missouri, an intense rivalry game that has not been played since the Tigers left the Big 12 for the SEC.

If former Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin is to be believed, that rivalry is not going to restart anytime soon.


Bill Self.

“The problem was a man named Bill Self who made it very clear this wasn’t going to happen,” Loftin told in a story about rivalries obliterated by SEC expansion. One of those rivalries involves Texas and Texas A&M. Loftin is a former president at A&M.. “I think it’s more likely Texas will bend than Kansas as long as Self is involved. He has a big ego.”

Well, now.

Two weeks ago, after Missouri AD Jim Sterk pushed for the Border War to return, Self told the Kansas City Star that “I would think that would probably be something that would be a given when asked a question, ‘Would you like to continue or renew the series?’ I think the obvious answer from his standpoint would probably be, ‘Yes.’ From mine (standpoint) that’s a decision that will be made at a university level, not just at a basketball level.”

NCAA working group weighing changes to blocking transfers and grad transfers

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It’s an annual occurrence by now.

At some point during every offseason there is a player whose transfer to another institution is blocked by his previous school. That player goes public with the story. That story becomes a national talking point for a week or two. Eventually, the previous school relents, and that player can transfer without punishment.

On the basketball side, it happened this summer with Cameron Johnson, who eventually found his way from Pitt to North Carolina. In football, it happened with Kansas State’s Corey Sutton.

And it may be legislated out of the NCAA’s rulebooks.

The Division I Council Transfer Working Group is considering legislation that would modify permission to contact rules. The way the rules are currently structured, if a player wants to transfer he or she must receive permission from the current school to be contacted by the schools that he is interested in transferring to. If that doesn’t happen — if a school is ‘blocked’ — then the player will not be allowed to receive athletic aid if he or she makes the decision to enroll at that school.

The change, as proposed, would allow those athletes to receive scholarships after transferring regardless of whether or not they receive permission to contact, and that “it will be important to prevent any national policy related to the transfer environment from being undercut through conference regulations.”

The other change that was discussed by the working group has to do with graduate transfers. The rule, as written, allows any player that has completed their undergraduate degree to transfer to a different institution to enroll in a graduate program without sitting out a year. This has become a difficult issue in the college basketball world, as players that graduate with eligibility remaining, particularly at the mid-major level, transfer up to a bigger program solely for one year of basketball; in other words, the spirit of the rule — to allow student-athletes to have a graduate degree paid for by their scholarship — is being abused.

The group made two suggestions that would help hold the schools receiving these graduate transfers accountable for the progress of those players towards their graduate degrees:

One potential approach could be to require that the financial aid provided to graduate students count against a team’s scholarship limit for two years, regardless of whether the graduate student stays for two years or leaves when their eligibility is complete. Another concept for increasing that accountability is through the Academic Progress Rate calculation, specifically the eligibility and retention points for which a student would be held accountable as they pursue a graduate degree.

Both of those options would be better than forcing those athletes to sit out a season but receive a sixth-year of eligibility or to eliminate the graduate transfer rule all together.

Brother of prized Texas recruit Mohamed Bamba alleges NCAA violations involving financial advisor

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Prized Texas recruit Mohamed Bamba was accused by his older brother in a rambling, profanity-laden FaceBook video of having accepted cash and gifts from a financial advisor in Michigan.

Ibrahim Johnson, a 6-foot-7 forward whose basketball career ended at Division II Montevallo, posted the 22-minute video on Wednesday afternoon. Shirtless and sitting poolside, Johnson alleged that Bamba accepted $200 a week in cash, vacations and gifts, including a California king size bed, from Greer Love, who is a vice president at Huron Capital. Love has degrees from Indiana and Michigan and previously worked at Watch Hill Partners, an Investment Bank in New York, according to his Huron Capital bio.

“He’s not going to play this year in the NCAA because I already reported him to the NCAA and I’m already going to meet with the NCAA,” said Johnson. “He’s not going to play this year. I’m not going to lie to you. I exposed that kid.”

The impetus for Johnson’s decision to turn Bamba in was a rift between the family that he alleges was caused by Love. Johnson was planning on following Bamba to whatever school he chose, enrolling in graduate school there and taking classes to become an NBA agent to represent Bamba. Bamba, according to Johnson, cut him out of the process. This is his revenge.

“We’re aware of the recent social media post regarding our men’s basketball student-athlete Mohamed Bamba,” a Texas spokesman told NBC Sports. “As is usual practice by the NCAA, Mo’s amateur status was previously reviewed and final certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. The NCAA has not informed us of any pending issues or eligibility concerns at this time regarding Mo. If there are further questions, we certainly will cooperate with the NCAA to the fullest.”

Johnson has his own issues to deal with. He’s been arrested at least three times in the last month — for possession of marijuana in Beaufort, South Carolina; for forgery in Ohio; and for hit-and-run in Bay City, Florida — and, according to a report from 247 Sports, he currently has five outstanding warrants.

Bamba’s oldest brother, Sidiki Johnson, is currently an inmate at Greene Penitentiary in Coxsackie, New York. He’s currently two years into a four-year sentence for second degree attempted robbery and third degree robbery. Sidiki played at Arizona and Providence before washing out of basketball.

Love, according to sources, has long been Bamba’s mentor, dating back to when Bamba was 10 years old. He is “actively involved in ‘Locke’s Lions’, an academic and athletic mentorship program for students who attended Public School 208 in Harlem.” Public School 208 is named Alain L. Locke Elementary, and sources told NBC Sports that is where Bamba and Love first met. In 2009, a fifth-grader from Locke named Mohamed Bamba had a letter to President Obama published in Newsweek.

Love helped manage Bamba’s recruitment, and according to a source, the relationship between the two has been cleared and vetted by the NCAA. There was a clear, pre-existing relationship between the two parties before Bamba was out of elementary school.

Love released the following statement to 247Sports:

“When Mo asked me to guide him and help coordinate the logistics of his recruitment. I immediately engaged the former Chief Compliance Officer of two Big 10 / Big 12 schools, who provided frequent consultation on a variety of matters. Doing things the right way has been our top priority since day one. Mo’s got way too much to lose to take any chances on anything even remotely impermissible. With my 9-year, pre-existing relationship on the line with Mo personally, let alone his college eligibility, I took several additional measures to ensure that Mo was fully compliant every step of the way.”

Bamba is a top five prospect in the Class of 2017 and a potential top ten pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. At 7-foot with a 7-foot-9 wingspan, Bamba projects as an elite defensive presence at any level of the sport. His addition, assuming he remains eligible this season, is expected to anchor the Longhorn defense and make Texas an NCAA tournament team.

IUPUI to become Horizon League’s 10th member

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The Horizon League officially announced this week that IUPUI will be replacing Valparaiso as the league’s 10th member. Valpo left to replace Wichita State in the Missouri Valley.

“We are excited to welcome IUPUI to the Horizon League family,” Horizon League commissioner Jon LeCrone said. “The Jaguars bring us tremendous competitive potential, particularly in men’s basketball, along with an engaged and energized city. Their addition solidifies our broad community partnerships in Indianapolis and is the right school at the right time.”

IUPUI — which stands for Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis — has been a member of the Summit League, which will be left with eight teams now that the Jaguars have departed. They’ve made it to one NCAA tournament, back in 2003, and have been a full-fledged member of Division I for 19 years. That was the year before NBA point guard George Hill enrolled. Current head coach Jason Gardner has been there for three years but has yet to record a winning season; IUPUI has not been over .500 since 2011, when Ron Hunter was still the head coach.

“We are excited about engaging with the other Horizon League member institutions to enhance the overall competitiveness of the league,” said IUPUI Director of Athletics Dr. Roderick Perry. “As an institution and athletics department, our mission, vision, and core values align closely with the Horizon League. This is an important step forward in the life of our athletics department.”

Former Louisville standout Chris Jones shot in Memphis

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Former Louisville point guard Chris Jones was shot while playing basketball in his native Memphis on Tuesday night.

According to a report from FOX 13 in Memphis, shortly after 11 p.m. shots rang out on in Halle Park after an altercation on the court. Two people were taken to the hospital, one with a head injury stemming from a fight. The other was Jones, who was shot in the leg twice, according to the Courier-Journal. His injuries are not life-threatening and he has already been released from the hospital, according to Steve Forbes, his former Junior College coach.

Jones played at Melrose High in Memphis before spending two years at Northwest Florida Junior College and two more seasons at Louisville.

This past year, he spent time playing professionally in Greece and in France, although he played just a grand total of three games in the two leagues.

Perhaps the craziest part about this story is that Jones was shot on a court that is next to a police station. This is a screengrab from FOX 13’s live shot from the basketball courts, and you can see the police cars in the station’s parking lot in the back ground:

Miller Time: Indiana coach cashes in with $24 million deal

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — New Indiana coach Archie Miller will make $24 million under his seven-year deal — and potentially even more in bonuses.

Miller accepted the job in March, but the athletic department didn’t announce details of the contract until Tuesday.

He will receive a base salary of $550,000 per year and $1 million in deferred income each season. Miller also will receive an additional $1.85 million in outside marketing and promotional income — and will get a $50,000 per year raise each year through March 2024.

Miller can earn a $250,000 bonus for winning a national championship. He can earn an additional $125,000 for a Big Ten regular-season title, reaching the Final Four and producing multiyear Academic Progress Rate scores over 950.